October 23, 2020

The drama of a family in the doorway of their home


Carmen, wiping away her tears, and Salvador, yesterday shortly after being evicted.

Carmen, wiping her tears, and Salvador, yesterday shortly after being evicted.

At eleven o’clock in the morning yesterday, the humble portal of a Gandia farm where humble people live contemplates a woman sitting on a chair who cries without consolation and does not know what to do or who to turn to. At three meters, sitting on the stairs, her son, who cannot work because she suffers a disability, replies that. he doesn’t leave there, although he admits not knowing where they will spend the rest of the day, and the night. The scene is watched by some of the residents in the same building, but during the half hour that this newspaper witnesses the events, no one stops to try to help.

They are Carmen Parra, 78, and Salvador, 42, that half an hour before the scene they had received a visit from a judicial commission, accompanied by a locksmith, to kick them out of the flat on Calle del Primer de Maig where they had lived for almost eight years. They did not expect the sad visit, but they know that the owners of the property had asked them to leave because they no longer wanted to continue renting the house, for which they paid 250 euros per month.

Resigned, Salvador gets dressed and, with his mother, fills and carries four bags with the essentials. As they walk through the door of the house, probably for the last time, they the man hired for that task changes the lock, as in most of the evictions.

According to both of them, nobody has paid attention to them because They respond that she receives a pension of just under seven hundred euros and a rental should be arranged, but when this newspaper delves into the details, it seems that they have not even known who to turn to to avoid this scene of despair and drama. And even less in this situation of health crisis, when the Administration has closed face-to-face offices and requires prior appointments or telematic processes that, in view, neither Carmen nor Salvador know how to complete.

Who does show up there is a kind of guardian angel named Joan Cogollos, that man who, also retired, has never thought twice about going to the places where he thinks he can help. As a member of the Safor-Valldigna Mortgage Affectats Platform (PAH), not only alerts of the situation, but is in charge of notifying those responsible for the Department of Social Services of the Gandia City Council and the Department of Housing of the Generalitat with a clear message. “We must find a solution to this problem.”

The efforts bear fruit and around 1 o’clock in the afternoon the Gandia City Council informs them that, as long as they find a suitable rental for their income, they will have a room in a pension located a short distance from there. Today, Thursday, Carmen has an appointment at Social Services to address the problem and get a place to live according to your possibilities.

The increase in the rental price of homes in Gandia generates situations such as the one experienced yesterday in Calle del Primer de Maig, but in this case there is also a less widespread problem, that of those people or families who do not know where to go or who to call when they suffer nothing less than the loss of their place of residence.

As Joan Cogollos recounted yesterday, Carmen and Salvador tried to present a document to stop the eviction, but the answer is that the deadline had passed. They tried to find a public defender, who was denied, and they transferred to the judicial commission that they had no alternative housing, that is, a house where they could move, while the locksmith completes the work and they stayed in the portal.

Cogollos, who on behalf of the PAH has always denounced these unfair situations, indicates that, when the problem is transferred to the officials, they understand the situation, but adds that it would be preferable to act before so that scenes like yesterday morning do not occur.

“Many vulnerable people have great limitations,” says the PAH activist after, at least, these two people have been able to have a roof over their heads while their situation is analyzed and looking for another home where they can be located.

Precisely on Wednesday the Department of Housing and the City Council of Gandia they announced measures in this city to guarantee the constitutional right to decent housing.

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